Borders by Pat Mora

By Pat Mora

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I feed them, gently rub their skin till they doze. Though an amateur (no doctors in this desert), I probe their wounds, squeeze out the yellow pus, squeeze hard even when they scream. I chat a bit about myself, but they can舗t hear above their pounding hurt. As the pain eases, my patients loosen their grip. I rub my hands, they rub their heads, wonder who this woman is with her wide eyes, her intense frown. Their 舠sorry-sorry舡 echoes after they dizzily walk out my door. But that pus stain is stubborn, and my hands, my hands ache at night.

For Libby Waiting Room: Orthopedic Surgery Usually I believe my children charmed, armed with rubber bones and flesh beneath their sweet, soft skin. Here canes, casts, wheelchairs, bound feet tell loud tales even this thick carpet can舗t muffle: brakes scream a baby舗s wrist snaps glass explodes I long to walk out quickly return to joggers, swimmers, disco dancers, my son lifting weights, steady rhythms lulling me steady rhythms muffling we are fragile we bleed and break. Goblin We laughed double that night, a desert rain bursting down on us after 舠Ghost Busters舡 lightning flashier than the show inside.

Borders Pat Mora The publication of this volume is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Texas Commission for the Arts. The following poems first appeared in the publications here noted: 舠Bilingual Christmas舡 and 舠The Grateful Minority舡 in Contact II; 舠Maestro舡 in Password; 舠Love Like Champagne舡 in The Pawn Review; 舠My Mask舡 in New Worlds Unlimited; 舠Disquise舡 in Snippets; 舠Woman Mysteriously Disappears舡 in Phantasmagoria; 舠Same Song舡 in Puerto del Sol.

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